Amidon's Codi Miller named Miss Rodeo ND
A person rarely reaches their childhood dream by age 20, but that's exactly what happened over the weekend to an Amidon woman.
Setting up what will be a busy year of travel and appearances throughout the state, Codi Miller was named Miss Rodeo North Dakota 2014 on Sunday during the PRCA Badlands Circuit Rodeo Finals in Minot.
"This is a dream I've had since I was really little," Miller said. "There were three of us girls competing and we've all become really good friends, so I would have been happy whatever the outcome was. When they said Miss Rodeo North Dakota was Codi Miller, I was shaking. Everything I've done since I was little paid off."
Miller, the daughter of Gary and Stacey Miller, won't be confined only to appearances in North Dakota, as she will also travel to events next year in Denver, Las Vegas and Cheyenne Frontier Days in Wyoming, she said. Miller will also have a chance to be named Miss Rodeo America.
"I'll be traveling about 30,000 miles around the country next year," Miller said. "I won't be home much, but I'm really excited. My younger sister, Kit, and I have been rodeoing basically since we could walk and rodeo will always have a special place in my heart. I'm just very humbled by this opportunity and I want to thank everyone who has congratulated me -- people I don't even know. I'm so honored."
A graduate of Bowman County High School, Miller completed a hospitality and tourism degree at Black Hills State University and works as an event coordinator for the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame.
"It's going to be such an honor to travel the state and go to some other huge rodeos around the country," Miller said. "To be able to represent North Dakota again will be very special. I know I'm going to have some great opportunities to learn and to grow as a person and to bring that all back to North Dakota."
The state of North Dakota has produced two Miss Rodeo America winners with Bowman native Ashley Andrews-Alderson winning the title in 2007 and Brenda Lee (Bonogofsky) in 1983. The reigning Miss Rodeo North Dakota is Crystal Carlascio.
Miller has also also served as a state high school rodeo queen, Miss Rodeo Mandan and Miss North Dakota Teen USA.
"I've known Codi for a long time and I think she will do an outstanding job of representing the state of North Dakota," Andrews-Alderson said. "Codi is a cowgirl first and foremost, and a great role model. I think she has a great shot when she goes to compete for Miss Rodeo America."
A woman of many hats, Miller also is an advocate for the anti-bullying movement, which has become a hot topic nationally in recent years.
"In high school, I was bullied and I used rodeo as an outlet," Miller said. "It was hard to be myself and be a cowgirl at school, but on the weekends, I could pack up with my mom and my sister and we would go and be around people who, like us, loved rodeoing and supported what we did. With all the changing trends in today's world, rodeo has kind of allowed me to be myself."
The only finalist last weekend from the western side of the state, Miller said she wants people to know that in addition to its booming energy play, her region has a rich tradition of cowboy and rodeo heritage.
"I know most people just think about oil when they think about western North Dakota, but we have some great cowboys and cowgirls out here, too," Miller said. "The support I've received from the community has been amazing. We definitely have our Western roots here."